I was keen to start volunteering at WHHT and had begun the process – it was a coincidence that the pandemic came when I started. However, I couldn’t let this opportunity slide, especially given the pressure the NHS was facing.
I have come to realise that being a doctor or a nurse is not only about academic knowledge but also about the staff-patient dynamic and trust. As well as this learning I also felt a sense of responsibility to help during these hard times because I hope to be part of the next generation of medical workers. As I volunteer, I don’t do any clinical work, but the appreciation I get from staff is immense – you’d be surprised how much staff appreciate something as simple as a cup of tea or bottle of water after a long and tiring day of work.
I feel quite comfortable while volunteering; perhaps this is due to the relaxed and friendly relationship I’ve built with the volunteering managers. Whenever I have a question about anything or am unsure about anything, I can confidently ask what to do or for assistance. I believe that they have done an amazing job in building a bond with the volunteers; they also create a friendly atmosphere in the hub and we can freely have conversations with both other volunteers and the managers which lifts the mood and keeps us keen.
I do many “behind the scenes” tasks such as restocking supplies or dropping water to wards. It’s nice to think that when staff are on a break, then they have whatever they need and appreciate it. I’ve got some really positive reactions when offering tea or coffee, staff truly appreciate the gesture of support.
My most memorable moment was when I was taking a donation for staff to a ward. In the donation there were many sweets and also a letter from a child. A staff member took it and started reading it to her colleagues. The child was thanking all NHS workers for all their hard work. It is really good to see the NHS getting appreciation from the public at this crucial time.